Responding to Warren

HRC (not Hillary, but the Human Rights Campaign) has a petition urging Obama to show restore the trust of the LGBT community by committing to their excellent blueprint for change:

Issue an Executive Order within the first 100 days that reaffirms protections for federal workers based on sexual orientation and expands them to also include gender identity;
Work with Congress to sign Hate Crimes legislation into law within 6 months;
Support only a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA);
In the first 100 days develop a plan to begin the process of eliminating the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and
Work with Congress to end unequal tax treatment of domestic partnerships benefits.

They seem to be taking the line that Obama *should* un-invite Warren. But if he doesn’t do this, he needs to do some serious work to show that he actually gives a shit. This seems to me an excellent strategy. If you agree, go sign!

Rick Warren, compromise, and making our views known

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time today unhappily mulling Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. (See also Rachel and JJ in the comments to the post 2 before this one.) Warren is seriously right wing: anti-gay, pro-forced childbearing, and an advocate of wifely submission. Giving him a platform like this and treating him as acceptable is horrendous, and should be protested. We can do so here.

At the same time, I also think that this may in fact be a smart move of Obama’s that will have good consequences– IF WE MAKE SURE THAT IT DOES. Hear me out here, please. If Obama wants to get things done without the constant vitriolic opposition faced by the Clintons, one way to do that may be to throw a bone to the right. Warren’s a hugely powerful figure, and if his flock think Obama’s OK, that could help Obama a lot. And how much better to have the bone be something symbolic like this (repulsive as it is) than actually *doing* something they want. In addition, Warren is a leader in getting evangelicals to care about poverty, and forging different coalitions for different issues is a smart strategy.

Now, what we need to do is to make bloody sure that Obama doesn’t go throwing any bones beyond this symbolic one. And we need to make sure he knows just how much he’s already asking us to tolerate. How do we do that? By telling him, forcefully, just how offensive it is to have Rick Warren deliver the invocation. So let’s do that.